Bulls begin to take form

godofredo vasquez/special to the s.f. examinerNo. 1: The Bulls signed Peter Sivak as the first member of San Francisco’s new minor-league hockey team.

godofredo vasquez/special to the s.f. examinerNo. 1: The Bulls signed Peter Sivak as the first member of San Francisco’s new minor-league hockey team.

The San Francisco Bulls, The City’s new minor-league hockey team, announced Tuesday they have signed their first player, 30-year-old right wing Peter Sivak.

The Slovakian native is a 13-year veteran of the Slovakian and Czech Extraligas, and set the European record for fastest goal from the start of a game when he scored 4.08 seconds into the first period on Jan. 18.

The move to San Francisco is one that makes sense for Sivak, whose wife is a doctor in the Bay Area.

As the team’s first recruit, team president and coach Pat Curcio said he expects the signing to make some noise around the hockey world.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of teams upset that we signed Peter before they had a chance to,” he said. “I think that’s always a great thing.”

Curcio also said he sees Sivak as a perfect fit for the fast, physical team he has envisioned since the Bulls were formed.

“I really like to see fast skill,” he said. “At the same time, I like to have a team that’s physical. Peter does all of that very well. If you look at his statistics over his career, he’s a guy that’s competed hard every night, scored big goals at key times. We really like that in Peter. He’s a perfect fit for our club.”

Sivak recorded 232 points — 110 goals and 122 assists — in 576 career games in Europe.

“I’m very happy to sign with the San Francisco Bulls,” Sivak said through an interpreter. “It’s a great opportunity for me to play my first year in North America.”

Olympic gold medalist Kristie Yamaguchi and her husband, former NHL All-Star Bret Hedican, were on hand to announce the Bulls’ new partnership with Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation. The team will have a special event during a game this season to promote the foundation, which exists to “inspire and embrace the dreams of children.”

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